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Monthly book reviews

Monthly book reviews by various authors.

AN ANALYTICAL CONCORDANCE TO THE REVISED STANDARD VERSION OF THE NEW TESTAMENT

Clinton Morrison, Westminster Press, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1979, 773 pp., $39.95.

For the first time a concordance of the Revised Standard Version New Testament is available which analyzes both the English words used.,and their Greek counterparts. And it requires no knowledge of Greek!

Organized according to English words, it indicates under each the Greek word (or words) so translated. Every R.S.V. New Testament passage is then listed in which the English word occurs. Thus, the approximately 400 passages in which "to give" appears in the R.S.V. New Testament are listed under 13 entries, according to the Greek word from which they come. Similarly, the more than 70 passages in which "to show" is used appear under 17 different subheadings.

An ordinary concordance to the R.S.V. would enable one to find every use of * such a word as "church" in the R.S.V. New Testament. Unfortunately, it will not mention six other passages of interest to careful students where the identical Greek word appears. The word church translates the Greek ekklesia, but not every instance of ekklesia is translated "church." Ekklesia is also translated "assembly" (four times) and "congregation" (twice). An index-lexicon near the end of this volume calls attention to this, and makes possible a more comprehensive study of the Biblical text.

This first-rate tool provides an additional help not available before. Following the normal concordance for an English word are two headings—"idiomatic" and "contextual"—that list instances in which the R.S.V. translates a Greek word freely, such as the appearance of a word implied by the context though not present in the Greek. Two important appendices—the first treating of certain problems that translators face, the second, a list of earlier readings of the R.S.V.—round out this invaluable volume.

Raoul Dederen

PASTORAL ASSERTIVENESS: A NEW MODEL FOR PASTORAL CARE

Paul Michey, Gary Gamble, with Paula Gilbert, Abingdon Press, Nashville, 1978, 174 pages, $7.95.

In a perceptive look at the traditional view of the passive pastor, the authors state a well-founded case for an assertive pastoral caring. They show that effective assertiveness is based on the ability of the pastor to compete with secular values for the life and time of the persons under his charge. "Indifference manifested as passive aggressiveness, overt hostility, and resistance to the gospel can be challenged only through pastoral assertiveness, otherwise the local congregation will turn inward and eventually experience spiritual and psychological stagnation."

Chapter 3 describes an assertiveness that is concerned with developing and molding values. The authors point out that assertiveness need not manipulate or control, but can free the individual to make his own choices. Chapter 4 looks at how pastoral assertiveness fits into the various physical settings in which ministry takes place.

Part 2 of the book (chapters 5, 6, 7) deals with visitation techniques, goals, methods, and guidance in the pastoral setting. Specific outlines are suggested for how pastoral visitation can most effectively be carried out. Part 3 (chapters 8, 9, and 10) applies pastoral assertiveness to committee meetings, leadership techniques, fund raising. Part 4 (chapters 11 and 12) examines assertiveness as part of the pastor's need to listen, guide, and lead as well as to be led.

The book fills a definite need by taking pastoral ministry away from a detached, humanistic, unconditional acceptance that does not care enough to confront while retaining the person-oriented concern that makes ministry essential.

Darold Bigger

SIGNPOSTS FOR THE FUTURE

Hans Kung, Doubleday and Company, Inc., 245 Park Avenue, New York, New York, 1978, 204 pages, $7.95.

Signposts for the Future is essentially a postscript to Kung's earlier and much criticized volume, On Being a Christian. The first part of Signposts for the Future ventures to produce a synthesis of what being a Christian means today, and does it in the form of twenty theses (pp. 2-44).

The second part of the volume (where the real interest lies) consists of thirteen essays on various important issues facing the Catholic Church today. One of the most important chapters is "Women and Society," in which Kung explains his conviction that "the admission of women to the presbyterate [i.e., the priesthood] should be delayed no longer" (p. 159).

In his eyes it would be "a misunderstanding of ecumenism" if the Catholic Church, "referring to the reserve of more conservative 'brother churches,' were to delay long overdue reforms such as the ordination of women" (ibid.).

Other significant chapters include a survey of the author's view on the participation of the Catholic laity in church leadership, intercommunion, worship today, the Jewish-Christian dialogue, and confirmation.

Another chapter on "The Essence of Apostolic Succession," one of the major doctrinal differences between Catholics and Protestants, asserts that this essence lies in the succession of the church to the apostolic faith rather than in a "continuous chain of impositions of hands" (p. 95).

Whether signposts for the future or not, these chapters attest that some Catholic theologians refuse to adopt an attitude of resignation and continue to stand their ground patiently.

Raoul Dederen


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Monthly book reviews by various authors.

November 1979

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